For more than 40 years now my mother has worked in the same office, with the same people, doing an ever changing but remarkably similar job to the one she first started doing so long ago. For most of those 40+ years she has worked with an amazing, tight-knit group of people who also happen to be a family.
The matriarch of this family was a woman named Helen Wichmann and she was Matriarch in every sense of the word. The definition of Matriarch, courtesy of the internet, is: 1. A woman who is the head of a family or tribe. 2. An older woman who is powerful within a family or organization. Yep…that was Helen. She was a whole lot of personality in a fairly tiny package. She worked and played with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She loved her family and cared for them and gave to anyone who needed her.
In 2007, after battling hard for years, Helen lost her battle against ovarian cancer. After months of extended hospital stays, chemotherapy, radiation, pain, and surgeries, she was given the gift of being able to spend her last days at home, and pain free, by Hospice of the Bluegrass. She was able to pass on with her family and friends near her, as she had spent her life, surrounded by love.
The Wichmann family felt strongly that they wanted to share their experience with Hospice of the Bluegrass, and wanted to give back to the organization that had been such a blessing to their mother. They also wanted to find a way to help fight cancer, and help those being faced with the loss of a loved one. Finally, they wanted to celebrate Helen’s life and honor her memory. As a result the Yellin’ Helen Strike Out Cancer Bowl-a-thon was born!
This March 23 will make 6 years in a row that the Wichmann family has come together with family, friends, and anyone who wants to spend a day having fun, bowling, and celebrating Helen’s life all while raising money to benefit Hospice of the Bluegrass and American Cancer Society. Superbowl in Erlanger is the host for a day of bowling, raffles, silent auction, food, fun and memories. I’m going to go ahead and say it…I bowl like Barney Rubble (only I’m not as good as he is) but it doesn’t matter. Your bowling average isn’t important. What’s important is that you have a great time!
The community comes together to donate amazing items for the silent auction tables as well as the raffle. This year’s BIG raffle prize will be in iPad! Take a chance on split the pot as well, you might get lucky. You’ll also get the chance to go for a strike with Helen’s own bowling ball…and if you get one you win a prize! There is also an actual bowling tournament, with prizes, for the team with the best game. All 64 lanes of the Superbowl are reserved for this event but fill up really fast so make sure to visit the Yellin’ Helen website at yellinhelen.org and register your team right away! They will take walk in teams on the last day if there are lanes available as well, but don’t count on there being any left…this event is way too much fun!
The cost to register your team is $180 and includes bowling from 12 PM until 3 PM, a shirt for everyone on the team, and bowling shoes. Get creative with your team name as there is a prize for the best one! If you are unable to attend but would like to donate you may do so on the yellinhelen.org website as well. Even if you don’t want to bowl I encourage you to come, buy a raffle ticket, bid on a silent auction item, and watch all of the rest of us try to avoid hitting people in other lanes with their bowling balls. Wait…I’m the only one who does that? Oops!
The Yellin’ Helen Strike Out Cancer Bowl-a-thon is on March 23 from Noon until 3 PM at the Superbowl in Erlanger which is located at 510 Commonwealth Avenue in Erlanger,Ky. For more information, to register your team, or to donate, please visit yellinhelen.org.
Bring your kids, get your team together, and help the Wichmann family Strike Out Cancer!